Welling United 1-1 Woking - For us to improve we need more fans' coming, says Welling boss Jamie Day

Saturday 23rd August 2014

Vanarama Conference
Saturday 23rd August 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

WELLING UNITED manager Jamie Day says the club will stand still if crowds continue to struggle to reach over a thousand at Park View Road.

The Wings finished in sixteenth-place on 60 points from their 46 league games, finishing nine points clear of the bottom four last season, but have started their new Vanarama Conference campaign collecting only two points, both coming at Park View Road, which leaves them in the bottom four at this early stage.

Woking were clearly on the front foot during the opening 25 minutes, but it was Welling United that grabbed the lead, against the run of play at the time, through midfielder Harry Beautyman, 22, scoring his second goal of the season.

Woking deservedly claimed a point to extend their unbeaten run to four games when substitute right-back Adam Newton, 33, scored only his second goal for the club.

“I’m a little bit disappointed that we haven’t come away with three points,” said Day, 34, who left himself out of the sixteen-man squad through a back injury.

“I felt at 1-0 we was on top, limited them to chances in the second half and obviously had a really good chance to go two up but we didn’t take it.

“If I’m being honest I didn’t really see them scoring but we switched off from a set-play and got punished from it and ended up drawing the game.”

Woking camped themselves inside the Welling United half for the first 25 minutes of the game.

Day agreed, saying, “Definitely. We looked at it from the side and probably the first half-an-hour I felt their movement was good, they got the ball wide, got the ball in the box.

“I felt we defended really well for that whole period because we was under pressure but I felt they dealt with that and then we got our goal and I thought we were the better team.”

The Surrey side created their opening chance inside the first nine minutes.

Chris Arthur threw the ball in from the left and Josh Payne danced his way into the penalty area and Dean Morgan swept the ball out to Theo Lewis, who drilled his shot across goal and the ball hit former Arsenal defender Zach Fagan, 19, and bounced behind for the first of eleven Woking corners.

Woking were clearly on the front foot and a slick one-touch passing move involving Joey Jones, Scott Rendell and Lewis down the right resulted in Louis Fazakerley clearing a cut back from John Goddard towards safety.

But despite their early pressure and possession, Woking’s best chance arrived halfway through the first half.

Payne clipped a sublime ball over the top of a static Welling defence to put right-winger Lewis through on goal, but his right-footed shot from eight-yards was pushed onto his near post by goalkeeper Lee Butcher, 25.

Day was full of praise for the former Leyton Orient stopper.

He said: “We switched off defensively. We left too big a gap and a great run and a good pass in fairness and a good save from Butch.

“They’re the little differences and probably the last two games (where we lost 3-0 away to both Torquay and Halifax) they probably would have gone in against us and changed the game a little bit but credit to Butch.  He’s pulled off a good save and we scored and we got on the front foot and I was disappointed that we couldn’t continue that and see it out.”

But outplayed Welling United somehow weathered the early storm and started to edge themselves back into the game.

Beautyman issued Woking a warning when he turned and flashed his right-footed drive harmlessly past the left-hand post with a speculative right-footed drive from 30-yards.

But Welling United – who played with a 4-5-1 formation - grabbed the lead – against the run of play – after 33 minutes.

Midfielder Jake Gallagher clipped a lovely defensive splitting pass between Woking defenders Arthur and Joe McNerney and Beautyman escaped from his shackles in the middle of the park to latch onto the pass.

Woking goalkeeper Aaron Howe came rushing off his line towards the edge of his box but Beautyman kept his composure to cut inside the keeper and slot his left-footed shot into the empty net.

Day praised Beautyman, who is Welling’s only goalscorer so far this campaign, as lone striker Keiron St Aimie lived off scraps all afternoon up front on his own.

Day said: “We said to the boys if we can play forward – and quickly – without just booting the ball then we need to do that.

“We’ve got pace in wide areas and H made a great run from midfield, good weighted pass, a great finish from Harry so it was nice to take the lead because in the previous three games we haven’t.

“From that point on right until the end I thought we was on the front foot and deserved the three points but just the way it’s going at the minute, obviously we got pegged back.”

Welling winger Afolabi Obafemi was penalised for handball on the edge of his penalty area but Payne cracked his right-footed free-kick sailing harmlessly over the crossbar and into Danson Park.

Payne then played another fine ball out of defence to release Lewis down the right and his deep cross picked out unmarked striker Morgan, who directed his header straight into Butcher’s gloves from fourteen-yards.

When asked about his thoughts at half-time, Day replied: “We just needed to up the tempo a little bit. I felt first half-an-hour they was on the front foot and took the initiative so I felt we just needed to be a bit quicker in our play and pressed.

“They took that on board. I can’t fault the effort and desire today. I thought that was there. 

“We just have got to take our chances when we do get them.”

Welling United put in a vastly-improved performance during the second half, despite losing central defender Jamal Fyfield through injury after only 61 seconds.

Day said: “He’s twisted his ankle. We thought he was alright but then he came out at half-time and said he wasn’t so we had to make the change straight away.

“I was disappointed to lose him because he’s an experienced head and I don’t think he’s going to be available for Monday so we’ll get Bushy and Zach, who played the second half (in the heart of defence).”

Woking, however, created the first chance inside eight minutes.

Central midfielder Payne played a short corner to Arthur and Goddard was given time and space to whip in a cross towards the far post where an unmarked Lewis headed down and past the near post.

Welling United went agonisingly close to grabbing a second goal following their one and only corner on the hour-mark.

Beautyman swung in the corner from the right which was cleared away and the ball came out to substitute Barney Williams.

The left-back came so close to scoring goal-of-the-season when he cracked a stunning left-footed curling volley towards goal from 40-yards, the ball curling just around the top of the far post.

“When he’s hit it the keeper’s gone for it so he must have thought it was close,” said Day.

“I think Barney’s been superb.  He played at Halifax in a left-wing position and done exceptionally well and came on today.  He does the simple things really well. 

“I think for him he’s got a big future, not just at this club, but further afield.  I think if he continues the way he’s playing the way he has done, someone has got to take note of that. I think he’s done exceptionally well again.”

Day’s comments echo the ones made by Tony Russell, who signed the 19-year-old left-back on loan for VCD Athletic last season.  Williams impressed at Oakwood, helping the club to win the Ryman League Division One North title last season.

The Welling United manager admitted Williams benefited from his spell in Crayford last season.

Day said: “I think the young lads needed to get away for a year to toughen up and get used to playing non-league football. Malachi (Hudson) done the same and looked sharp in pre-season, he’s been out for a while.

“Barney and Sam Corne, I think have stood out and it’s down to them to kick on now.”

Welling United squandered an excellent chance to kill Woking off with nineteen minutes left.

Gallagher swept the ball in behind Woking’s two central defenders to put winger Tyrone Marsh, 20, through on goal with only Howe to beat.

But the former Oxford United attacker stroked his right-footed shot straight at Howe, who made a comfortable low save to his right.

Day said: “For us, it’s a one-on-one and in training Tyrone, nine times out of ten, puts them away. He’s a very good finisher.

“When he went through I didn’t think anything other than a goal so he’s disappointed, I’m slightly disappointed because I expect more from him because I can see what he can do.

“But good movement, a good bit of play to get into that position, so I’m pleased with that.

“Just obviously felt if he would have got that the game would have been in our favour and I think we would have seen it out and took the three points.

“It’s a little bit tough at the minute. We’ve got a few things going against us but I’m pleased with the way we played today and we’ll take that into Monday.”

Beautyman’s third effort on goal saw him unleash a powerful right-footed drive which sailed harmlessly over the bar from 35-yards.

But Woking restored parity with a deserved equaliser with nine minutes left.

James Clarke clipped a free-kick in from the right which was knocked down by McNerney and Welling failed to clear their lines and Newton nipped in at the far post to nod home from two-yards out.

When told that goal was Newton’s second for Woking, Day replied: “It just sums it up, the way it goes at the minute!

“For me I didn’t think it was a foul first of all. I think it was a bit harsh.

“McNerney is good in the air. I think we could have done better with the second phase of play.  I didn’t think we reacted quickly enough in the box and if you give people chances and they don’t take the first one, they’ll definitely take the second and that’s what they did.

“Other than that, I don’t think Butch had to make too many saves.”

Woking created the last chance of the game but substitute Keiran Murtagh shrugged off his marker to hook his shot wide.

The point puts Welling United above AFC Telford United, Nuneaton Town and pointless Alfreton Town in the Vanarama Conference table.

The average age of Welling United’s starting eleven today was 22.

“I knew it was going to be tougher,” admitted Day.

“We’ve signed a lot of young boys this year that have not experienced this type of football so it’s going to take time for them to get used to it.  Whether we’ve got enough time to get it right only time will tell.

“We’ve got some good players. It’s going to be a slow process of how we want them to play and how I think we have to play in certain weeks to grind out results but yes it’s definitely going to be harder. I don’t think it’s going to get any easier – if we stay in this league.”

Next up is a trip to Eastleigh on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Spitfires clinched the Conference South title last season but they slipped down to eighth-place in the table after their 2-1 defeat at Dover Athletic today.

“I know they got beat today but they’ll be on the momentum from last year,” said Day.

“They’ve spent a lot of money and from what I’ve listened to what they’ve had to say, they want to get out of this league so they’re spending good sums.

“They’ve got League players who have dropped out so it’s going to be a tough game, but if we show the same attitude that we’ve shown today and we don’t get a result then there’s no complaints, but if we do show that same effort and commitment and hopefully we can get something from the match.”

Welling United remain unbeaten at Park View Road after their two 1-1 draws and Day knows attracting crowds of 611 (against Telford) and 634 for a local game against Woking is not sustainable.

“We haven’t been beaten at home. I’m disappointed, we probably could have had six points from the two home games,” said Day.

“I’m hoping that doesn’t come back to haunt us further down the line but we’re unbeaten. We just now have to put better performances in away from home.

“I’m pleased with the people that do come out and support the club but this club is not going to go forward unless we get over a thousand people coming in.

“I looked at last year’s average attendances, I think we were the second lowest and we can’t compete financially with clubs in this league but if we don’t get more people through the gates watching then I think this club is only going to reach where it is now and stand still.

“For us to improve we need to get more people through (the turnstiles). We need to invest more people into it otherwise every year we’re going to be caught up into a relegation scrap.  I don’t want to be doing that but unless people start coming through and we get decent amounts of support that’s not going to change.”

Welling United: Lee Butcher, Loui Fazakerley, Chris Bush, Jake Gallagher, Zach Fagan, Jamal Fyfield (Barney Williams 47), Afolabi Obafemi (Jon Nouble 73), Harry Beautyman, Kieron St Aimie, Sam Corne, Tyrone Marsh (Malachi Hudson 77).
Subs: Jamie Turner, Charlie Gorman

Goal: Harry Beautyman 33

Booked: Chris Bush 68, Sam Corne 79

Woking: Aaron Howe, James Clarke, Chris Arthur, Joey Jones (Keiran Murtagh 63), Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts, John Goddard (Giuseppe Sole 63), Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Dean Morgan, Theo Lewis (Adam Newton 70).
Subs: Jake Cole, Nicholas Arnold

Goal: Adam Newton 81

Booked: Joe McNerney 46

Attendance: 634
Referee: Mr Justin Amey (Bournemouth, Dorset)
Assistants: Mr Gary Jerden (Wickford, Essex) & Mr Matthew Lee (Chichester, West Sussex)
Fourth Official: Mr Neil West (Leigh-on-Sea, Essex)